POLICE: Mother tried concealing daughter’s murder by setting apartment on fire

Mother confesses to setting fire to cover crime
Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 6:08 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 28, 2022 at 12:57 PM EST
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EAST POINT, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - A woman has been arrested for the murder of her daughter and for setting a fire in her East Point apartment to try and conceal the crime.

It happened Wednesday at the Brookfield Apartments, located in the 3000 block of Washington Road.

The woman who was arrested has been identified as 27-year-old Nicole Ashley Jackson. She was arrested Friday and is facing two counts of cruelty to children in the first degree, a criminal attempt to commit a felony, felony murder, and malice murder charges.

East Point police and fire officials provided additional information about the fire and Jackson’s arrest during a press conference Monday morning.

WATCH: East Point fire officials provide update

According to East Point officials, Jackson is the mother of the child who died and the child who was injured in the fire. They said Jackson confessed that she set her home on fire to conceal her daughter’s murder just a day before Thanksgiving.

Crews found Jackson’s 4-year-old daughter dead inside an upstairs bedroom. Her twin sister is still alive but suffering from burns to her face, hands, and arms. She is in the care of her grandmother at this time.

“We put a missing person BOLO out for the mother. We found the mother the following day on Fulton Industrial Boulevard,” said East Point Police Department Chief Shawn Buchanan.

“She disclosed to us that one of the children was already deceased and she started the fire to conceal the crime,” said Buchanan.

Fire officials said this case is affecting many of them emotionally, enough to call in grief counselors for any who need them. They intend to do all they can to seek justice for the little girls.

“We have a saying where whenever we go in we are trying to save a life. This situation greatly affected personnel,” said East Point Fire Department Chief Corey Thornton.

There is no bond set for Jackson and the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office says they intend to keep it that way.

ORIGINAL STORY

One day after a fire displaced seven families at an East Point apartment complex and claimed the life of a child, the search continues for her mother.

Crews remained on the scene as of early Thursday morning as the search continues for the woman. The missing woman has not been identified by officials at this time.

East Point Fire Department Public Information Officer Renita Shelton says a second child was also taken to a nearby hospital, but the current extent of her injuries is unknown.

“It was during the search and rescue phase that they discovered the body of the little girl in one of the upper units,” Shelton said.

Shelton said it’s unclear if the two children are related. She says they are both roughly 10 years old or younger.

East Point Fire Department responded to the call around 3:07 p.m. They were joined by firefighters from College Park and the City of South Fulton to help extinguish the flames.

“We noticed there was heavy smoke coming from one of the buildings in the rear and also evacuations were underway,” Shelton said. “Our firefighters began a very aggressive attack after they laid water lines.”

Seven families were displaced as a result of the fire and are being assisted by the American Red Cross. Teon Barber is one of those victims.

“Our whole apartment burnt down,” Barber said. “It happened out of the blue. I’m still in shock.”

East Point deadly fire photo
East Point deadly fire photo(Atlanta News First)

Barber says he was asleep when the flames broke out. A neighbor started banging on his door to alert him to the emergency. On the eve of Thanksgiving, he told Atlanta News First he’s just thankful to be alive.

“Just to have my life, because I was in a knocked out sleep. Thank God my mom and my little brother were gone,

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

According to officials, the Red Cross “met with the families to provide emotional support and assess their emergency needs. Those in need of assistance will receive help with essentials such as temporary lodging, food, clothing, and personal care and health items.”

East Point deadly fire aftermath
East Point deadly fire aftermath(Atlanta News First)

This is an ongoing story. Check back with Atlanta News First for updates.